April 1921: “Scotland First” – “the Musical Renaissance in Scotland” – the Glasgow Musical Festival

An article on page eight of the Daily Record and Mail (Daily Record, in The British Newspaper) on Tuesday

the 19th of April, 1921, reads:




Comparatively few people appreciate the full fact of the musical renaissance in Scotland.


London critics were delightfully surprised by its reality in the brilliant performance of the

Glasgow Orpheus Choir in the Metropolis the other day.


But how many Scots have been actually interested in the recent striking assertion made by

Mr. Hugh S. Roberton, the talented conductor of the Orpheus Choir, that Glasgow, which,

twelve years ago, was a kind of musical wilderness, is to-day musically famous all over Britain?


In casting about for an explanation of the growth of the musical spirit in Scotland, it is not too

much to say that the history of this new movement is pretty much the history of the progress of

the Glasgow Musical Festival. The syllabus of this year’s Festival, which opens on May 4, with its

10,000 competitors (including 195 choirs and 573 vocal soloists, besides many other concerted

parties of vocalists and instrumentalists, is indeed a revelation of how music has developed in

Scotland in recent years.


It is, moreover a good augury for the future of Scots music to know, on the authority of Mr. Roberton,

that the West of Scotland has the finest children’s choirs in the whole world.


The one possible flaw in Scottish musical development is Scotland’s lack of a really first-class Academy

for the higher cultivation of the art.


Perhaps this will come sooner than seems likely just now, if the public of Scotland bestir themselves and

give that measure of support to the Musical Festival and the movement generally which both deserve.”



The British Newspaper Archive.



George Fairfull-Smith, July 2024.